Water power is a success at mill

For the first time in decades water power is being using to generate electricity in a Peak District village.

After over two years of work to install hydro power at Ashford Old Mill in Ashford in the Water, owner Bob Griffiths has had his 100 year old turbine reinstalled and has just been connected to the National Grid.

He said: “It’s so exciting. I am absolutely delighted with it. The turbine runs perfectly and is almost silent.

“And the result is 15kW of green power for 32 homes, and it will save 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere every year.

“It was hard work, but worth it in the end.”

Mr Griffiths, who lives in the mill house, is working to restore the mill estate.

His project will be featured on the BBC’s Countryside programme on November 13 which focuses on the Upper and Lower Derwent Valley.

He said: “I wanted to restore the mill back to how it was probably about 400 years ago. When I moved here it was in a derelict state.

“I would encourage people to do similar things and bring these buildings back in to use. It has been a long project but worthwhile. When I first started I was focused on restoring the mill but the green aspect is very important too.”

The scheme will also see Mr Griffiths get between £25,000 and £35,000 a year from National Grid for his energy contributions.

The project has been supported by countryside charity Friends of the Peak District.

Andy Tickle, head of planning and campaigns at Friends of the Peak District, said: “This is just brilliant.

Not only is green power being produced for local people, but a listed mill has now been beautifully refurbished and connected to its original use.

“We’re also pleased that the turbine was restored by engineers near Ashbourne and that local consultants, Derwent Hydro Power, oversaw the re-instatement and grid connection.”

“Our research suggested that another 1800kW of micro hydro power is still possible in the Peak District. Ashford Old Mill getting going is excellent, but it’s still a long, uphill road,” added Mr Tickle.